I am one of very few women in a department with quite a few male colleagues. One of them introduced me to a visiting fellow by saying “Come and meet X, she always has great nails!”. Then they asked me to show the visiting fellow my hands to prove it.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Back when I was an undergraduate I had heard (from fellow philosophy majors who had done so) that it was possible for undergraduates to enroll in the advanced logic course offered to the philosophy graduate students. Undergrads were admitted on a case-by-case basis by professor X, who taught the graduate class.
As a student who was taking the department’s upper-level undergraduate logic course (the natural prerequisite to the graduate class), I saw professor X in the department one day and figured I might go up to him and at least introduce myself as an undergrad interested in taking his graduate course next semester. As I approached him, however, he growled “NOT ME” and then waved me towards the department secretary. I ended up going up to the secretary and stammering an unrelated question.
Of course, I may have simply caught him on a grumpy off day. But I cannot help but wonder if X’s behavior towards me would have been any different if I had approached him as a white male. It wasn’t until that day that I really became aware that all the philosophy undergraduates I knew who had enrolled in professor X’s class were males and I was a minority female.
In general, I’m sick and tired of so-called male “allies” who say the right things in public and behave in the right way towards other men and senior women, but who disrespect women with less influence in the profession (and hence are less likely to call them out). Classic kissing up and kicking down.
I’m a PhD student in continental Europe. I was being interviewed by an old professor for a small teaching position that I really needed. The interview took place in a cafe. Another phd student, my future male colleague, was also present. In the middle of the discussion, the professor claimed “that all female phd students sleep with their supervisor. It is well known.” I said it was ridiculous but he insisted anyway. “Don’t be naive!” The other student laughed.
At this moment it is still unclear if I get the job so I prefer not to insist.
Later during this absurd “discussion” the professor complained about a neck pain he had because of marking grade. He suddenly grabbed my neck to demonstrate where it hurts.
Never felt so helpless and angry in my life. Endured it because I desperately needed the job.
Worst part is that I did get the job (as the other student did). But I didn’t get paid because of some legal loophole.
I wanted to tell this story because I want people to realize what a woman has to endure for her career that a man will never have to. I also wanted to tell people about the really bad situation we have too in continental Europe.
Me and a few other women have talked about setting up an informal discussion group for our feminist philosophy course. A man (without us telling him to do so) told the class during a seminar that anyone taking feminist philosophy is welcome to join and that we’ll be staying after the seminar to write down all names of people interested. Another man starts laughing loudly and says something along the lines of ‘it’s typical that a you need a man to lead you even in feminist philosophy’. He and the majority of men started laughing. Notably, the professor laughed as well. He’s a man. I’ve never felt so humiliated.
While doing my MA, I humorously told a fellow (male) graduate student that he could stop mansplaining to me. He proceeded to mansplaining what mansplaining was. He was wrong.
-Being the only woman in a class of 15 men
-Having to pull aside a colleague to tell him I am in class to learn and not to be sexually harassed
-Being pursued rather aggressively by a professor only to be silenced on behalf of your academic career
-Having a classmate to ask me just how gay I am on a scale of 1 to 7 after denying him an unsolicited sexual advance